There was a lot to like about the performance the Pittsburgh Penguins put on Sunday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators. But perhaps the most impressive group on the day was the trio of Nick Bonino, Bryan Rust and Carter Rowney.
The team’s so-called third line accounted for seven points (1+6) in the Pens’ 7-0 drubbing of the Sens, giving the defending Stanley Cup champs a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference Final.
Rust made his mark last spring, when his speed and energy helped spur the Penguins on to their fourth NHL championship. And Rowney, playing in his first postseason at this level, has contributed by bringing puck control and possession to the line.
But until Sunday, Rowney had yet to chip in on the scoresheet.
That changed in a big way, though.
The former Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins forward picked up three assists in the game, earning first star honors for his performance.
“It was a matter of time [before getting a point],” Rowney said from the media riser after the game. “I kind of felt like if you keep doing the right things out there, hopefully some chances will capitalize and you will get your opportunities.”
Rowney, Chad Ruhwedel, Jake Guentzel and Josh Archibald all appeared in games with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this year before taking part in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Twelve of the 25 players to see game action in the 2017 postseason with Pittsburgh have appeared in at least one game with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.